How Customer-Focused Are You… Really?

Everyone says they’re customer-focused. The stark reality is that most of us aren’t.

radio sales tip: be customer-focused

photo by uismolinero/dpc

Sales coach Gavin Ingham recently expressed a frustration common to those of us in the sales training business — our clients want advice on how to close sales, but don’t seem interested in earning the right to make the sale in the first place:

As a sales speaker, I often get asked by sales directors what they should do to make more sales. How do we convince the client? How do we demonstrate value over price? How do we negotiate a better deal? How do we shorten buying cycles? Etc etc. All of these have one thing in common and that is that they are all about you. They are not all about the client.

I rarely (for rarely read never) get asked for help that is client focused. People do not call me and ask how they can better understand their clients, they call me and ask how they can close more sales. People do not call me to understand why their clients went elsewhere, they call me to ask how they can convince their clients to buy from them. People do not call me to ask me help them understand why they did not engage their clients, they call me to ask how they can persuade and influence more effectively.

This may sound like semantics but it is a BIG deal.”

 It is a big deal. Salespeople already know what they want to sell, and why they want to sell it. What many of them never bother to find out is what their customer wants to buy, and why they would want to buy it.

Two Easy Customer-Focus Tests For Salespeople

 1. Look at the last couple times a customer turned you down and went to the competition. Do you know why — from their perspective, not yours — they did it? (Advice on what to do about that is here.)

2. Think about the last couple of times a customer cancelled an order in mid-campaign. Do you know why — from their perspective, not yours — they cancelled?

I often hear from salespeople who just took a big cancellation and want advice on how to change the client’s mind. Unfortunately, it’s too late by then.

The best time to reverse a cancellation is before the cancellation happens. Click To Tweet This  

Cancellation prevention requires knowing what the customer’s goals are for the campaign. Knowing about challenges to implementing the campaign, and working with the client to address those challenges. Constantly checking in to make sure that results are meeting expectation.

In short, cancellation prevention requires true focus on the customer

If you don’t know why the client cancelled, or went with the competitor, you may not be as customer-focused as you think you are.

What did you miss, and how can you do better next time?


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